Metropolitan Oval East expands its Long Island Programs and names Yannick Salmon as Director

Metropolitan Oval, a USSF Development Academy club and New York’s top developer of youth soccer talent, is expanding its Met Oval East program in Long Island. Increased demand for a proven curriculum, the highest level coaching and a professional pathway in Long Island has led Met Oval to grow its elite talent programs to additional players in Suffolk and Nassau counties. 

A USSF development Academy club with teams from for elite youth players ranging from age 8-18, Metropolitan Oval is a NYCFC affiliate club and a Nike Premier club.  In the past 3 years alone, the Oval has seen over 30 of its players signed into professional academies both domestically and internationally. Over 20 of these players have been signed into the NYCFC Academy program at varying ages while two former Met Oval players made their 1st team debuts for NYCFC this preseason further solidifying the Oval’s proven professional pathway.

Met Oval has named current academy and performance coach Yannick Salmon as Director of its expanded Met Oval East operations.

Salmon has a deep connection with Long Island, hailing from Westbury and has been working as a coach and performance trainer at Met Oval for the past 3 years. He was the former “Nassau County Player of the Year” and had a standout career in Division 1 (Maryland, Rutgers) before playing overseas.

The expanded USSF Development academy, pre-academy and NYCSL programs at Met Oval East will be offered to players born from 2011 through 2002.   These programs provide a direct pathway to New York City FC of Major League Soccer and high level collegiate programs.

The primary headquarters for Met Oval East will be the Elite Sports Factory in Massapequa, Long Island in addition to outdoor fields located in Hicksville and Massepequa. The all-weather, indoor facility offers a unique opportunity for year round soccer training for all its players.

Tryouts for Met Oval East in Long Island:

Players born 2011 through 2007

Date : Monday April 23rd and April 30th

Location: Elite Sports Academy 5600 Old Sunrise Highway Massapequa, NY 11578

-       5:30 - 6:30 player born 2011/2010/2009

-       6:30 - 7:30 - players born 2008

-       7:30 – 8:30 – players born in 2007

Date : Friday April 27th and May 4th

Location: Holy Trinity High School, 98 Cherry Lane, Hicksville, NY 11801

-       5:45 - 7:00 player born 2011/2010/2009

-       6:45 - 8:00 - players born 2008 and 2007

Tryouts for programs in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan will be announced on April 21st. Please check the website for additional details at that time.

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The Metropolitan Oval is a USSF Development Academy dedicated to developing the New York regions elite level soccer talent at our Youth Center of Excellence while offering youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer in a committed environment. Our professional pathway places players in youth national team programs, MLS and Int'l academies and collegiate programs. In the past years, Met Oval has placed more youth players in MLS and Int'l academies then any other club in the region. Met Oval is an affiliate partner of NYC FC and a Nike Premier Club.

The Met Oval's soccer facility in Queens was originally built in 1925 by immigrants from Germany and Hungary, and remains the most historic soccer facility in the United States.  The Met Oval is a Non Profit organization and the only New York City soccer club that owns its own field and related facilities and now has additional programs in Long Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Metropolitan Oval Awarded Additional USSF Development Academy Teams

As officially announced by the United States Soccer Federation Development Academy,  Metropolitan Oval has been awarded the U15 and U16/17 Boys Development Academy (DA) teams in addition to its existing U12, U13 and U14 DA teams.  This will complete Met Oval’s “Path to Pro” development pathway offered through its Youth Center of Excellence. With programs based in Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, Met Oval can now offer talented players of the region the tools, the expertise and the platform needed for success.

Metropolitan Oval is a leader in elite player development having placed over 30 youth players into professional academies here and abroad over the past 3 years.  This includes 2 former Met Oval academy players who made their 1st team debuts for NYC FC this month in the preseason. Met Oval’s successful partnership with NYC FC has provided a route for the most talented players in the region to attain their goal of playing professionally.

“Metropolitan Oval has been a part of US Soccer’s Development Academy for over a decade and this expansion is a tribute to the work our staff has done developing elite caliber players. The Oval and our Youth Center of Excellence is a unique talent greenhouse that blends a wholly owned facility, the highest licensed coaches and a curriculum built around technically advanced, possession oriented play.”  said Sporting Director and Board Member, Jeffrey Saunders.

“We are proud of how our athletes are developing both on and off the field,” said Director of Coaching Filippo Giovagnoli. “By expanding the ages of the Development Academy it will only encourage the growth of the players and help them to reach their goals of playing collegiately and professionally.”

Tryouts for USSF Development Academy teams ( 2007-2002 born) will commence in April and conclude in June. Check the website for dates and times in the coming weeks.



The Metropolitan Oval is a USSF Development Academy dedicated to developing the New York regions elite level soccer talent at our Youth Center of Excellence while offering youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer in a committed environment. Our professional pathway places players in youth national team programs, MLS and Int'l academies and collegiate programs. In the past years, Met Oval has placed more youth players in MLS and Int'l academies then any other club in the region. Met Oval is an affiliate partner of NYC FC and a Nike Premier Club.

The Met Oval's soccer facility in Queens was originally built in 1925 by immigrants from Germany and Hungary, and remains the most historic soccer facility in the United States.  The Met Oval is a Non Profit organization and the only New York City soccer club that owns its own field and related facilities and now has additional programs in Long Island and Brooklyn.


Esad Mackic, former Met Oval Academy player, comes on for David Villa in preseason friendly

Yet another Met Oval Academy player made his debut for NYCFC's first team in a preseason friendly with the Montreal Impact. Esad Mackic, class of 2000, replaced an outstanding David Villa in the second half of the 2-2 draw.

Mackic joins Justin Haak as Met Oval Academy products to play for NYCFC this preseason thus proving that clear pathway from Met Oval's Youth Center of Excellence to the professional ranks.

Met Oval Player Profile - Kameron Blaise

Based out of Suffolk County, Long Island, Kameron Blaise has traveled the globe following his passion – soccer. Extended stays in both Italy and Brazil have helped with his development as has his last two plus years with Metropolitan Oval.

Kameron (16, birth year 2001) is primarily a left winger that likes to cut inside to use his more powerful right foot. Occasionally Kameron also plays on the right side or even up top as a striker. He is known for his speed and technical ability and relishes a chance to take on defenders one vs. one.

The Haitian Football Federation noticed Kameron slightly over one year ago and invited him for a trial with the U-17’s and he has remained in the mix ever since appearing in several friendly matches to date. Kameron has been invited to an upcoming tournament in Martinique in preparation for the U-20’s cycle of CONCACAF appearances for the next U-20 World Cup in 2019.

One person instrumental in the development of Kameron as a player has been Met Oval Director of Coaching Filippo Giovagnoli who was able to see his ability from a young age and has “consistently pushed my limits,” says Blaise. It was Giovagnoli who brought Kameron into the Met Oval family for his first trial. Kameron was invited as a guest player and given a shirt for the day. However, after the match when he was returning the jersey it was Met Oval Sporting Director Jeffrey Saunders that said to him, “Don’t worry, you can keep that.” From that moment forward Kameron Blaise was a Met Oval player.

It was also Giovagnoli that arranged Kameron’s aforementioned trips to Italy where he was able to play and train not only with his peers from the States but also with third division side A.S. Gubbio 1910, where he was able live with the team and get accustomed to soccer in a European environment.

“Commitment is the key to future success,” says Blaise, who travels 55 miles each way to practices at Met Oval. He has also been having personal training sessions with another coach from Met Oval, Giuseppe Rossi, to help improve his game. When asked about Kameron, Rossi responded that, “Kameron is a very talented technical player who uses his speed to blow past defenders. He is excellent with the ball at his feet and does a good job getting past his opponent.”

Kameron joked during this interview that when he was growing up at first he thought he was “the next Messi” because he was scoring so many goals and better than everyone that was playing with by some distance. Now that he has matured a bit Kameron expressed, “You never want to be the best on the field because that means you aren’t learning anything, and Met Oval has helped me become a better player.”

Is this New York City FC academy player the club’s next Homegrown signing? Justin Haak, a former Metropolitan Oval youth player, has impressed in training camp so far.

New York City FC brought five academy players to this year’s preseason training in Florida: Joe Scally, Tyler Shaver, Justin Haak, Dante Polvara, and Gio Reyna. While Reyna (son of Claudio Reyna) is probably the name that jumps out to most people — and he has definitely stood out in training and with the U.S. Youth National Team — Justin Haak has been the most impressive academy player so far. He doesn’t look out of place during drills and seemingly has a very high motor. I got some first-hand insight by speaking with someone who knows him quite well, Jeff Saunders.

Saunders is the Sporting Director at Metropolitan Oval, one of NYCFC’s youth affiliates, where Haak trained prior to the NYCFC academy. (For an in-depth look at Met Oval go here.) Met Oval has been an excellent pipeline for the academy, sending over 20 players in three years. They are based out of Queens, with a practice field that overlooks Manhattan.

Saunders called Haak a capable and very fit player, which confirmed my initial impressions of watching him play. Haak primarily features as a no. 6 (holding midfielder), but can play the no. 8 role (box-to-box midfielder) as well. Saunders says he “reads the play very well and is very good at cutting off the channels and funneling the play.” And he can pass too!

But what stood out the most from our conversation was just how hard of a worker Haak is. Also — just as important — he is a team guy and “tactically very astute.”

Saunders had a lot of praise for the Brooklyn native and relayed that he is doing well in training camp with NYCFC. But Haak’s success comes as no surprise to Saunders. “He would be just as effective in a U-19 academy game as I think he would be in an MLS game. I think you will get the same performance, same maturity level,” says Saunders.

Hopefully NYCFC sign Haak soon, as he has clearly has graduated from the U-19 team. Whether the next step is straight to the first team or the NPSL or USL, they need to promote him as soon as possible. Haak’s biggest test will be in the preseason friendlies, where the club will find out where exactly he’ll fit in best.

Link to original article on SB Nation's Hudson River Blue:


Tickets are now available for the Met Oval 2018 Benefit.

Click here to purchase


Yes, there will be great food. Yes, there will be flowing wine and beer. Yes, there will be a chance to show off your party clothes; we know how much you love those soccer mom/dad sweatpants, but we also know you have glitter! Yes, there will ample time to show off your dance moves -- and we know you have them!


But this party is really about coming together as a community, thanking the coaches and raising money to support their efforts with our boys.


Proceeds will go to improvements to the facilities, technology and financial aid.


Please join the Met Oval 2018 Benefit

Silent Auction Items you will love!

Central Lounge

Saturday, March 3rd

6:30PM - 10PM (+ Afterparty if you are up for that!)

20-30 Steinway St,

Astoria NY 11105


Live Drawing of a 50/50 Auction at 9PM


Ticket Prices increase on February 15th, buy yours now!


Met Oval Benefit Committee

(Join the benefit committee now by emailing

Metropolitan Oval’s Track Record of Development Tops the Region

The mission of Met Oval of being the leading academy in the region in terms of player development has been on full display for many years as it continues to push out players to Major League Soccer academies and professional clubs. Our affiliation with the New York City Football Club is at the forefront of this mission.

From the age groups with birth years of 2000-2007 our “Youth Center of Excellence” has now placed 20 players with NYCFC in the last three years alone. This pipeline has been essential for the growth of these NYCFC teams as our players constitute a strong Met Oval contingency and bring what they have learned at Met Oval to their new club.

Many of these players have gone on to become regulars at NYCFC. Some of these regulars include Justin Haak and Velko Petkovic (2001’s) who both play on the NYCFC U18/19 squad.

The NYCFC U16/17’s has no fewer than six former Met Oval players. They are Sal Rasizzi and Filip Mirkovic (2001’s), along with Nicholas Kapanadze, Omar Torres, Manoli Smalios, and Ethan Wood (2002).

Alejandro Suarez, Jobani Garcia, and Lucas Jaramillo (2003’s) are currently members of the NYCFC U15 team.

The NYCFC U14 regulars consist of three former Met Oval players, all 2004’s. They are Justin Kern, Gabriel Birnbaum Duchovny, and Jacob Thomas.

Keanu Stingome and Diego Rossi (2005’s) both play on the NYCFC U13 team while Ryan Duarte (2007) is a regular for the NYCFC U12’s.

There are also several former Met Oval players currently with the New York Red Bulls. These include Balthazar Saunders (formerly of NYCFC in addition to Met Oval), Bryan Toxtle, and Ezra Widman.

Met Oval also has some former players currently at clubs overseas. They include Aziel Jackson (Toulouse), Vincent Oprea (Watford), and Carlyle Smart (Rosenborg).

Lucas Arzan has one international cap for Puerto Rico and Cameron Blase who has been a member of Haiti’s U17 program.

The most recent player to leave Met Oval for NYCFC is the aforementioned Filip Mirkovic. Filip came to Met Oval two years ago as a 2001. He came in as an attacking midfielder, however the coaches at Met Oval in conjunction with him decided that the best path for him in player development was to switch positions to more of a defensive midfielder, commonly referred to as a number 6. Now he grown into one of the best players at that position in the region and has made the switch to NYCFC.

Filip is a good example of a player coming to Met Oval at a more advanced age (by academy and youth soccer standards) and being able to develop into an elite player.

“Met Oval developed me not only as a player but a person as well.
Without Met Oval, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.” – Filip Mirkovic



Met Oval 01's Advance to the NPL National Final Game vs the San Jose Earthquake


The Met Oval 2001 team has advanced to the NPL National Championship game to be played at the Grand Sports Park in Indianapolis, Indiana on Monday July 17th at 11am.

The Met Oval 01 team coached by Mark Van Lith is currently on a nine (9) game wining streak having won all of their playoff games including the NEPAL final against the Philadelphia Union securing their NEPAL Pre Academy title and booking their place in the NPL finals. The team has only lost twice out of sixteen games in 2017.

This week at the NPL national finals they have impressed with three straight group stage victories and a 4-0 win today in Semi-Finals.  They will play the San Jose Earthquake in the National Final on July 17th at 11am.

Go Met Oval!

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Met Oval 01's Head to Nationals, Sport Tech @ The Oval, National Team Call ups and Professional Pathways

Met Oval and its Youth Center off Excellence thrived this year promoting a technical and cognitive based curriculum that accelerated development of the players in the club. Many milestones were met including, the addition of UEFA Pro / A and USSF B licensed coaches, expansion of our player pathways, implementing use of sports technology and strong team results.

Met Oval 01's Head to Nationals

The Met Oval’s 2001 team had a stellar year competing in the NEPAL Pre Academy league, attaining a Playoff spot and going on to win three straight road playoffs games culminating in a 3-2 victory over Philly Union that propelled them in the NPL National Finals in Indiana.

Oval Teams Thrive

Met Oval’s USSF academy teams continued their strong showing through the spring with a series of noteworthy performances.  U14’s drew with Philly Union, U12’s beat the Red Bulls and U13’s going undefeated against NY academy teams.  More importantly the accelerated development ofplayers is in full view as the technical and cognitive training was evident in game play.

Met Oval’s younger groups thrived in the NYCFC and Pre Academy academy leagues proving that early foundational development is key to building an elite player. Our satellite programs in Long Island as well as Brooklyn have facilitated a broader base of talent and elite player potential.

Leader in Sports Technology

Met Oval invests in sports technology systems that no other academy clubs of the region utilize.  Met Oval has partnered with FieldVision to install the first operator less camera system at our Youth Center of Excellence. The permanently installed system allows for the club to film all training and game events at the oval without need for a camera operator.  The footage is automatically uploaded to the cloud and accessible by the coaches and players for review.  This allows coaches to better the developmental environment while allowing kids the chance to experience a professional game film environment.  This spring, academy teams had video review once a week and this will expand to all teams in the club as well as the addition of live streamed games.  In conjunction to the FieldVision system, Met Oval has been using ChyronHego’s PAINT application for analytics and education of related to film tape.  This professionalgrade application is used by hundred of professional clubs and broadcasters world wide to provide more insight from footage.

Professional Pathways

Met Oval continues to be a leader in player development placing the highest number of players in regional USSF talent ID centers and into the NYCFC academy program.  Over the past 2 years, more then 20 Met Oval players have been selected for the NYCFC academy, more then double any other club. In USSF regional ID training events, Met Oval players represented on average of 35% of invited players.  We had one current player called up to a Youth National team camp and over 10 former Met Oval players called in to USSF youth national team camps or trips this past year.

The Metropolitan Oval is a USSF Development Academy and Nike Premier Club dedicated to developing New York's elite level soccer talent at our Youth Center of Excellence while offering youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer in a committed environment. Our 'Professional Pathway' places players in youth national team programs, MLS and Int'l academies and collegiate programs. In the past years, Met Oval has placed more youth players in MLS and Int'l academies then any other club in the region.
The Met Oval's soccer facility in Queens was originally built in 1925 by immigrants from Germany and Hungary, and remains the most historic soccer facility in the United States.  The Met Oval is a Non Profit organization and the only New York City soccer club that owns its own field and related facilities and now has additional programs in Long Island and Brooklyn

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Strong Team Performances and National Team Call Up

Strong Performances by Teams Highlights Met Oval's Commitment to Elite Player Development at our Youth Center of Excellence

The Oval's U14 USSF academy team went undefeated in April with three hard fought tests in USSF Development Academy league play.  The team tied the MLS's Philadelphia Union U14 team 2-2 in an exciting game that saw the Union tie it up in the dying seconds.  The team followed this game with another gritty performance against the Cosmos which ended in a tie 0-0. Early in the month the team was victoriousagainst a tough Continental Delco sqaud.

The Oval's U13 USSF team continued their good form this spring beating the Cosmos 3-1 in a game played at Met Oval.  Earlier in the month they beat Continental Delco and then lost to the Philadelphia Union.

The Oval's U15 Pre academy team has also put together a undefeated April run as they take aim at the NEPAL playoff and a bid for the NPL National Title.  The team tied the Philadelphia Union 1-1, Beat local rival BW Gotchee 1-0 and tied FC Everton Westchester 1-1.

Met Oval 04's trained at the famed Ajax Academy while the 06 group participated in the Iber cup in Dallas

The Met Oval U12 USSF academy group headed to Holland for 10 days over Easter to train at the storied Ajax Academy.  During the week they played friendlies against the Ajax Academy, Almere FC and AFC Amsterdam's U13 groups.  During the final weekend they headed to Drunen, Hollandfor the Force Cup which assembled professional academy teams from throughout Europe in the 2004 age group. Playing 7 games over the weekend the group finished 8th and savored an experience to compete with the best teams and players of Europe.

The Met Oval 06 group headed to Dallas for the Iber Cup where the played domestic and Int'l teams including RSC Anderlecht and the Dallas Texans. Met Oval's performance analyst traveled with the group to provide daily video and performance review helping the group understand the work required on and off the field to develop to ones highest potential.

National Call up

Met Oval is proud of our 2001 player Kameron Blaise who was named to the Haitian U17 national team roster for the upcoming Concacaf U17Championships later this year. He joins a growing list of Met Oval players who have been called into youth national camps or Int'l competitions.

Summer Camps / Affiliations

Met Oval is proud to announce a new camp program with Venezia FC of Italy.  The newly promoted Serie B club will run two camps in conjunction with Met Oval this summer in Queens and Long Island offering the top player in older age groups a trial at the Academy in Venice.

These complement the Ajax Academy, David Villa DV7 and Met Oval skills camps slated for this summer.  See info and sign up below.

High performance Summer Camps for elite level players during the summer.  Locations in Queens and Long Island with Internationally certified coaches.

Met Oval and Venezia FC Announce Training Relationship

Met Oval, Venezia FC Announce Training Relationship

Relationship includes joint camps in New York, training opportunities in Venice

NEW YORK and VENICE, Italy -- April 20, 2017 – Metropolitan Oval, the elite youth academy and U.S. Soccer Development Academy member based in Queens, New York, and Venezia FC, the historic professional club of Venice, Italy, today announced a relationship that will create unique training and development opportunities in both New York and Venice, beginning with Met al/Venezia FC joint camps to be held in New York this summer.

In July-August 2017, Venezia FC coaches will join Met Oval coaches in New York to hold two one-week camps, with the top players born in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003 to earn opportunities to train with Venezia FC in Venice. The first camp will be held July 24-28 at Cedar Creek Park on Long Island and the second camp will be held July 31-August 4 at Met Oval in Queens.

Beyond joint camps, Venezia FC also plans to provide regular training and tryout opportunities for top Met Oval players and will aim to share best training practices.

In January 2017, Met Oval director of coaching Filippo Giovagnoli visited Centro Sportivo Taliercio, the training ground for Venezia FC's first team and all youth academy teams.

"It was clear that Venezia FC is focused on the technical and tactical development of young players and have built a pathway to becoming a professional that will benefit Met Oval players," said Giovagnoli. "The synergies between Met Oval's Youth Center of Excellence and Venezia FC's system will facilitate high level player development."

Venezia FC’s role in the affiliation with Met Oval will be managed by Paolo Poggi, director of international projects, and Ted Philipakos, CEO. In February 2017, Poggi and Philipakos visited Met Oval’s facility. Poggi is a former star player for Venezia FC and several other top Italian clubs, including Udinese, Torino, and Roma. Philipakos is a former player representative and a former sports marketing professor at New York University.

“When Filippo Giovagnoli visited us, we discovered that there was a good foundation for a collaboration between Met Oval and Venezia FC, because our fundamental approaches to training and development had important similarities,” said Poggi. “I’m excited to begin and to see growth in the players and the coaches.”

“As a native New Yorker, I’m very familiar with Met Oval’s tradition of player development, and I’m very pleased that this collaboration can further advance that tradition and create exciting opportunities for young players in the area,” said Philipakos.

The Metropolitan Oval is a U.S. Soccer Development Academy dedicated to developing New York's elite level soccer talent at its Youth Center of Excellence while offering youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer in a committed environment. The Met Oval’s 'Professional Pathway' places players in youth national team programs, MLS and international academies, and collegiate programs. The Met Oval's soccer facility was originally built in 1925 by immigrants from Germany and Hungary, and remains the most historic soccer facility in the United States. The Met Oval is a non-profit organization and the only New York City soccer club that owns its own field and related facilities.  Instagram @metovalacademy , Twitter at @Met_Oval and Facebook @


Venezia FC is celebrating the 110th anniversary of the club's original founding in 1907. Venezia FC will compete in Italy's Serie B in the 2017/18 season, after achieving its second consecutive promotion since coming under American ownership led by Joe Tacopina. In recent months, Venezia FC's revitalization has been featured by BBC, Bleacher ReportESPNThe GuardianKICKSportsBusiness Journal, Victory Journal, and more. Venezia FC can be found on Facebook at, on Instagram at @veneziafc, and on Twitter at @VeneziaFC_EN




Tryout Dates for Met Oval and Met Oval East

 @ Met Oval ( 60-58 60th st, Maspeth, NY 11378)

Wednesdays from May 17th - June 14th

2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 born - 4:30pm

Fridays from May 19th - June 16th

2005 born - 6pm

2003 and 2004 born - 7:30pm

Mondays from June 5th - June 19th

2001 and 2002 born- 7:30pm

Wednesdays from May 24th - June 14th

2000 born - 9pm


@ Met OvalEast ( 98 Cherry Ln, Hicksville, NY 11801 )

Mondays from May 8th - June 12th

USSF Development Academy and NYCSL Pre-Academy tryouts

2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 born - 7:30pm

Club Info:

Met Oval is a U.S. Soccer Development Academy that fields teams in the USSF Academy program, NYCFC Youth League, NEPAL Pre-Academy, the EDP league and the USL Super Y-League.  The Development Academy is a partnership between U.S. Soccer and the top youth clubs around the country to provide the best youth players in the U.S. with an every day environment designed to produce the next generation of National Team players. The Academy’s programming philosophy includes increased training, development focus, and more competitive games.

Met Oval has an affiliate relationship with New York City FC, sister club of Manchester City, which provides a clear pathway for Met Oval players to reach the highest level of competition.  Through New York City FC and Manchester City FC, Met Oval coaches and players will have the opportunity to work with renowned soccer coaches and training staff who provide expertise and resources. 

For questions about Met Oval players or any of the teams, please email

Met Oval Solidifies Role as Elite Talent Development Academy

Met Oval Solidifies Role as Elite Talent Development Academy

The fall season has further established Met Oval and its Youth Center of Excellence as the regions leading elite talent development environment.  With the addition of higher licensed coaches, the expansion of the USSF academy status and a growth in Met Oval’s affiliate program, the elite development environment has been strengthened and significant progress has been seen both on the individual and team levels.
Player News

USSF Youth National Team Call ups

Met Oval current and former players have impressed at the national level this Fall.  In the first National Camp for the YNT U14 group, Met Oval player Jobany Garcia was invited for the week long camp at the US Soccer Training Center in Los Angeles.  Jobany was one of only 3 players from our region invited. Pictured above second left back row.   (Congrats also in order for Jack Mcglynn and Ryan Kipness)

In addition, congrats go out to former Met Oval players who have been called into Youth National Camps this past year.  Veljko Petrovic, Balthazar Saunders, Justin Haak and Aziel Jackson.

MLS academy selections

This year, seven additional Met Oval players were selected to join the NYCFC academy. These on top of the five Met Oval players selected in the 2015 cycle further demonstrate the elite development acumen that lies at the core of Met Oval’s philosophy and Met Oval’s important role in NYCFC’s affiliate program.  Currently 12 Met Oval players have been selected for NYCFC’s academy which equates to approximately 33% of the NYCFC academy roster.  In addition congrats go out to former Met Oval players Balthazar Saunders and Jose Flores who lead the NYCFC U14 and U16 academy teams in goals this fall with 11 each.
2016 NYCFC Academy player selections:

2002 born players  Manny Smalios, Pierro Elias, Omar Torres, Peter Dres and Niko Kapandaze, 2001 born player Victor Souza, and 2000 born player Jose Flores.

Team news

Met Oval’s Academy teams concluded a productive Fall with a tough slate of games against the NY Red Bulls and BW Gotchee. Met Oval academy teams went undefeated in our 4 game stand versus Gotchee on the weekend of November 12/13th.  The U12 group played one of their most complete performances of the year winning the two games 4-1 and 7-0.  The U13 and U14 group both tied 1-1 in competitive matches that highlighted our possession oriented style of play. On November 19th, Met Oval hosted the NY Red Bulls academy for a slate of games on a mild fall day.  The U12 group split games with the red bulls wining and losing 3-1 while the U13 and U14 lost games that eventually got away from them in the 2nd half to a strong Red Bull’s group.

In other league play, the Met Oval 05, 06, 07 and 08 groups have shown strong performances over the fall implementing the individual technique and style of play worked on though out the weekly training sessions.  The Met Oval curriculum is rooted in its approach to individual technical development in the Phase 1 development cycle and slowly injecting game cognition at the Phase 2 cycle.

Met Oval’s older teams continued their progression acclimating to new leagues and competition. The 03 and 04 EDP groups as well as the 2001 Pre Academy competed all Fall while the 2000 group will star their season shortly after winning their first State Cup game and going 4-1 at the Super Y championships in Florida.

Met Oval’s U18 won their 3rd consecutive National Championship at the IMG complex in Florida this month.  Ivo Mohorovic’s men won the title at the Super Y Finals winning all games in the 5 day competition. Congrats on a very successful few years.

Club Updates

Met Oval has expanded its use of video analysis technology through affiliations with FieldVision and Hud’l.  Investing in a full time analyst and related technology has allowed coaching staff to further expand players cognitive development.  Academy players will continue to have weekly video review session with analysis of principles of play.
Met Oval’s U12 academy group have been invited to train at the Ajax Academy in April.  The 10 day trip will see the group train at Ajax’s De Tokemost, play friendlies against Ajax Academy and other Dutch teams and compete in the Force Cup against academy teams from the leading professional clubs in Europe. Please help them fund raise via  the donation link below and forwarding to your friends and family.

Remember all donations are tax deductible so now is the time to donate!

During the summer of 2017, a Met Oval 06/05 and 03/04 team have been invited to the inaugural Southampton Cup in the UK to play against Europe's finest academies including RSC Anderlecht, Dinamo Zagreb, Real Club Deportivo La Coruna and Southampton.


Met Oval’s affiliate network has grown stronger in the past year as we welcomed additional clubs as partners in the elite youth development pathway.  With affiliate clubs in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Long Island more youth now have an opportunity to develop to their full potential while best practices are shared across coaching staff.  

Met Oval is delighted to welcome Mark Van Lith to our coaching staff.  Mark was a former coach at the Ajax Academy in the Netherlands and will assume the role of Asst Director of Coaching and the U13 USSF academy coach.  Mark holds a UEFA B license and is in the midst of attaining his USSF B license.

Met Oval also welcomes James Francis and Eduardo Cruz who joined the staff this Fall.  James is a UEFA B licensed coach from the UK who also manages our analytics department. Eduardo is a USSF B licensed coach who has coached through out the senior and youth ranks in his native Colombia as well as here in the USA for many years.

Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season from all of us at the Met Oval !!

For more info visit

The Metropolitan Oval Foundation is a 501(3) Not for Profit dedicated to developing the regions elite players while offering youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to play in a committed environment.  Met Oval is a USSF Development Academy member, a Nike Premier club and a NYCFC affiliate club and the only youth club in New York City to own its own field and related facilities.

Ballon d'or Winner Gianni Rivera Visits Met Oval

Met Oval was honored to have the former Italian star,  Gianni Rivera, one of the best soccer athletes of his time, visit Met Oval last week.

In the course of nineteen professional seasons Rivera, a midfielder-playmaker, played in the Italian Serie A with single allegiance to AC Milan. During that time he secured for his team:

4 scudetti (league titles)

2 UEFA Cups (1967-1968, 1972-1973)

2 Champion League Cups (formerly Champions Cup) (1962-1963, 1968-1969) 

1 International Cup (1969)

Rivera has also played 63 games with the Italian National team and scored 15 goals, including the seventh winning goal in the iconic semifinal Italy-Germany (4-3) which allowed Italy to enter the final game against Brasil in the 1970 World Cup. The year before he was voted Ballon d'Or winner, a title that had narrowly escaped him in 1963, when he was a runner up.

After retiring, Gianni Rivera had a successful run as a politician. He served first in the Italian Parliament, then in the European Parliament. He remained in touch with the Italian soccer world, and in 2013 he was appointed President of the Technical Sector of the Italian Soccer Federation.

It was a great privilege to have him come visit Met Oval and oversee a night of our training.

Met Oval U12 Academy Top NY Red Bulls

Met Oval U12 Academy Top NY Red Bulls

The Met Oval U12 Academy teams traveled to NJ to face MLS side NY Red Bulls in USSF Development academy play in the highly anticipated matches.

In the first game, Met Oval' U12 had to adjust to the high pressing style of the Red Bulls and subsequently went down 0-2 in the first half.  After some tactical changes by Coach Filippo Giovagnoli, the 2nd half was a a different affair as the players came out with a new focus.  Goals by Alex Apielwiez, Jacob Thomas and Ambrogio Musso sealed the victory as the Met Oval dominated possession throughout the 2nd half.  Final 3-2.

In the second game, The Red Bulls again jumped out to a lead scoring three first half goals and leading at half time 3-1 with Kaden Davidson notching the goal.   Again Met Oval mounted a strong second half performance with goals by Marco Derlly and Kiequon Aaron to come back for a 3-3 tie.

This weekend Met Oval teams suit up for Columbus Day Tournaments and the NYCFC affiliate festival.

Met Oval U14's win agianst New York City FC in USSF Development Academy Play


In another sign of the continued strength of Met Oval 's Youth Center of Excellence, our U14 USSF Development Academy team topped our MLS affiliate partner New York City FC's U14 team by a score of 2-1 in a closely contested match Sunday at Belson Stadium on the campus of St. Johns University.

Although five Met Oval U14 players were selected to join NYC FC this past summer (the most of any club), Met Oval's current U14 team was poised to show their talent and grit in what turned out to be a physical and tactical encounter.  NYC FC had the better of the first 15 min with a number of shots by Balthazar Saunders ( ex Met Oval) saved or blocked. Met Oval's Jasson Garay tormented the defense using his speed to exploit many 1v1'sfrom the wide left position and saw his most dangerous effort parryed wide by NYCFC goal keeper Manny Smalios ( ex Met Oval).   The ensuing corner landed in the mixer and Met Oval's Jobany Garcia slotted it home for the lead. 1-0.

NYC FC's Balthazar Saunders offered a reply pouncing on a square ball through the back line, beat two players and the keeper to slot home the equalizer. 1-1. Met Oval's Jasson Garay again broke through the NYCFC back line on a through ball from Marco Cottone arriving to a 1v1 with GK Manny Smalios who took down Jasson and was issued a red card.  On the ensuing free kick from 30 yards out, Met Oval's Santi Campos found the top left corner in what may be a goal of the season contender. 2-1 Met Oval.

The 2nd half was defensive oriented for Met Oval as they dropped in the midfield to control the tempo of the game, relinquishing more of the possession in favor of counter attacking opportunities.  The game finished 2-1 for Met Oval handing NYC FC its first loss of the season. Met Oval's back line including Gk Juan Cruz had a strong performance and boasted three U13 players playing with the U14 team. It was a reunion of sorts with so many current or former Met Oval players on the field and in the stands.

In other weekend action, The Met Oval U15 Pre Academy team came from behind to beat Beachside 3-2 in NEPAL play. Two goals from Jordan May plus a goal from Charlie Welch powered the team to a 1-1-1 record on the season so far.

The Met Oval USSF Development Academy teams hosted World Class on Satruday.  The U14 won 1-0 on a penalty by Jack Wagner.  The U13 lost 3-2 on disjointed game with four goals from set pieces. The U12 Academy teams were both victories 5-3 and 3-1 in a positive display of technical capabilities.

The 04 EDP team split their weekend games loosing away at CT Rush and then rebounding to top Manhattan Soccer Club at Randall's Island 3-1.  The 03 EDP team lost to MatchFit away while the 06 and 07 Met Oval East teams were victories over DUSC.

Other News:

Met Oval Brooklyn player Merce Keller won theNYC FC "Once in a Lifetime" video contest.  Check it out here

Both NYC FC's U14 and U16 leading scorers are former Met Oval Players.  U14 player Balthazar Saunders has netted 5 goals in 5 games this season while U16 player Jose Flores has scored 4 goals in 4 games.

Follow us on Twitter @Met_Oval and Instagram @metovalacademy

About US

The Metropolitan Oval is a USSF Development Academy dedicated to developing the highest-quality soccer talent in New York City while offering youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer in a committed environment through specialized training, team play, camps and clinics.

The Met Oval's soccer facility was originally built in 1925 by immigrants from Germany and Hungary, and remains the most historic soccer facility in the United States.  The Met Oval is the only New York City soccer club that owns its own field and related facilities through its Youth Center of Excellence. Met Oval is the leading elite talent developer in the region with our professional pathway which builds players for USSF Youth National team participation, Int'l and MLS academies, and collegiate careers.

Academy Season Kicks off on 9/11 Weekend with Hero's Salute

Met Oval's season got off to a positive start this weekend with most teams in competition.  The U13 and U14 USSF academy teams visited NJCSA on Saturday.  After a sluggish start, the U13s dominated possession and were technically and tactically solid in a 4-0 win.  Striker Markus Anderson had a brace as did the central midfielder Steffen Nikolic in what turned into a attacking minded second half.

The U14 USSF Academy team played a spirited game against a much bigger NJCSA team who fielded mostly 2002 players.  Met Oval with a third of their team playing up an age (2003),  recovered from going behind 0-1 on a penalty call.  Abdul Seck tied it up in the 70th minute and Met Oval nearly stole the winner in the final minutes.  The game ended in a 1-1 tie.

The 03 EDP team had a strong start playing well against a good Athletico team and ended up losing 1-2. The 04 EDP team traveled to Shoreline in CT where they managed a 1-1 draw.

On Sunday 9/11, the action shifted to a home stand at Met Oval's Youth Center of Excellence where the club hosted NYSC inNew York City FC Affiliate Development League games.  Prior to each match there was a moment of silence to remember all the Heros associated with the tragic events of 9/11.  Never forget.

There where seven games lasting throughout the day from 2008s though 2005s which highlighted the the technical and athletic abilities from players from both clubs.  




On Sunday


Met Oval Players Called up for USSF Youth National Team Camps

Many current and former Met Oval players have recently been called into USSF National Team camps across the USA.  So far this year four players with roots at Met Oval have competed to represent the USA on Youth National Teams.   Met Oval's Youth Center of Excellence focuses on developing elite level talent for the US national teams, professional academies and collegiate careers. Met Oval offers a professional pathway through its affiliation with New York City FC.

Veljko Petkovic (currently at NYCFC) attended the U16 national camp in California this spring and was selected to represent the U16 team at an international tournament.  This was Veljko's second national team camp previously attending one in the Fall of 2014 while at Met Oval. 

Balthazar Saunders (currently at NYCFC) was selected to attend the U15 National camp this month in Portland, his first call up.

Bella Semper was selected for the U14 girls national team camp this summer her second call up. Bella plays within the boys program at Met Oval.

Angela Aguero (currently at World Class) was selected for the U15 girls national team camp this summer and played for years within the Met Oval boys program.

In addition, Justin Haak ( currently at NYCFC) was selected to attend the Generation Adidas ESP event in San Jose last month which highlights talented U15 players.  Justin played at Met Oval for a number of years until moving to NYCFC via our professional pathway partnership with NYCFC.

Over 10 former or current Met Oval players have been called into USSF National Team Camps in the past 2 years demonstrating the elite development environment at hand at Met Oval's Youth Center of Excellence in Queens.


Metropolitan Oval is a USSF Development Academy dedicated to developing the highest-quality soccer talent in New York City while offering youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer in a committed environment through specialized training, team play, camps and clinics. The Met Oval's soccer facility was originally built in 1925 by immigrants from Germany and Hungary, and remains the most historic soccer facility in the United States.  The Met Oval is the only New York City soccer club that owns its own field and related facilities.




Met Oval Beats Red Bulls in League Play

Met Oval's U13 and U12 teams both played at Red Bulls this past weekend in what has become a heated local derby.  

The Met Oval U13 triumphed over the Red Bulls 2-1 on Sunday and clinched 2nd place in the Pre Academy league behind the Philadelphia Union with a record of 18-2-2 for the season.  The Red Bulls tallied first early in the game after a deflection off goal keeper Manny Smalios.  The lead did not last long as Santiago Campos found a streaking Niko Kapandaze who slotted home the equalizer to make it 1-1. Red Bulls had additional chances but could not finish as the half ended 1-1.   The second half was all Met Oval as the group showed their determination as they controlled the midfield and back line and created numerous chances through a number of high paced counter attacks.  Midway through the second half, it was deja vu as Santiago Campos again found Niko Kapandaze with a beautiful weighted through ball and Niko side stepped the keeper and slotted home for his second of the game and put Met Oval in the lead for good. Goal Keeper Ethan Wood ensured victory with a series of exceptional saves to close the game out.  The entire team showed why they are ranked in the top 5 nationally with a technical and gritty performance against a strong and highly skilled Red Bulls group.

On Saturday, the Met Oval U12 's traveled to Red Bulls for a pre-academy league game.  On a hot and humid day, the first half saw the Red Bulls control the pace and possession but they were unable to score. The second half was the reverse as Met Oval controlled the ball and created five clear chances which they could not convert.  The game finished 0-0in the return game of one earlier in the spring where Met Oval won 3-2 at Met Oval.

Met Oval U13's host Gotchee on Sunday June 12th at 12noon in the first round of the U13 Pre Academy playoffs as Met Oval finished 2nd and Gotchee finished 7th in the league table.

Tryouts will continue for all age groups on Monday June 6th and Monday June 13th.




Metropolitan Oval has entered into an affiliate partnership agreement with Manhattan Kickers Football Club which will see the two clubs build a best-in-class approach to youth soccer player development in the New York City region through a number of joint programs, shared knowledge and a more coordinated approach to player integration across all levels of youth soccer.  

The partnership will provide a comprehensive, European-styled youth player development program for ages 3 -18 and will be anchored around Metropolitan Oval’s Youth Center of Excellence, New York City’s only club-owned soccer facility.  Players of the two clubs will have unrivaled access to top coaches and have the opportunity to play at the highest levels of competition in the New York City region throughout each stage of their development.  Metropolitan Oval is a USSF Development Academy Club, a New York City FC Affiliate Partner and a Nike Premier Club.  This partnership aims to provide a better defined pathway to the US Youth National Teams, professional academies both domestically and internationally, as well as collegiate careers.

Manhattan Kickers FC has demonstrated as a club that it is one of the top development academies in the region for players aged 6-12.  The club focuses on individual technical skill sets which is parallel to Met Oval's philosophy and will further strengthen the environment in which players develop their technical, cognitive and tactical attributes” said Metropolitan Oval’s Director of Coaching, Filippo Giovagnoli.

Accomplished youth players from all five boroughs will have the opportunity to train in programs based in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.  Both clubs have built highly successful programs based on possession-oriented soccer that focuses on individual development over team results.

“MKFC is pleased to partner with Met Oval with the goal of strengthening the youth soccer environment in New York City. With the partnership, we hope to help build on what Met Oval has already accomplished and also to improve the overall experience of MKFC youth players, by offering a continuous pathway where they can be guided by top-level professional coaches. Both organizations are working towards the same goal, so this partnership is just an initial phase of what we hope to be the continued mission of providing the best possible soccer environment for New York City youth soccer players.” Evan Rosenthal, President, Manhattan Kickers FC

Players are eligible to participate in the USSF Development Academy, the NEPAL Pre-Academy and New York City FC Affiliate Development League.  

For information on Tryouts please visit

About Met Oval

The Metropolitan Oval is a USSF Development Academy dedicated to developing the highest-quality soccer talent in New York City while offering youth of all backgrounds the opportunity to play soccer in a committed environment through specialized training, team play, camps and clinics.

The Met Oval's soccer facility was originally built in 1925 by immigrants from Germany and Hungary, and remains the most historic soccer facility in the United States.  The Met Oval is the only New York City soccer club that owns its own field and related facilities through its Youth center of Excellence.  Met Oval has produced Professional, Collegiate and Youth National Team players.

About Manhattan Kickers

Manhattan Kickers Football Club (MKFC) is a non-profit youth soccer school in New York City serving players ages 4 to 12. The club believes foremost in the development of individual skill and game intelligence, and the coaches strive to instill a passion and respect for the game in the players, along with the right attitude to succeed. MKFC values these characteristics over wins and losses, as they are ultimately what form the foundation for the highest level of soccer player and citizen.

The club’s curriculum is modeled after professional European and South American Academies, and focuses intensely on developing the technical ability and game intelligence of the players. The club believes it is at these young ages where the fundamentals are learned which will enable a player to have future success. With over a decade of experience, MKFC’s special focus on the early years is unique because in the United States those crucial ages are largely neglected or left to inexperienced parent-coaches, new coaches with little experience, or recreational teams. MKFC’s exclusive focus on those ages has allowed the club to create a specialized program catered to the needs of players at that stage of development.

In just over ten years, MKFC players have reached the highest levels of soccer – professional contracts in the MLS and abroad, places in professional European and American youth academies, the United States National Program, as well as earning college scholarships and spots on top youth clubs in the area.